The University of Southampton (Southampton) is one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom, was founded in 1952 and is a member of prestigious Russell Group of UK Universities. Southampton has more than 17,000 undergraduate students and over 7,000 postgraduates and is an excellent venue for conducting cutting-edge research and for providing high quality education. The university is truly international, drawing students from over 130 different countries and benefiting from a wide and varied culture. It has been ranked as one of the top 100 Universities in the world (2016/17 QS World University Rankings) and 16th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2016. Southampton has a successful track record of industrial collaborations and is at the centre of a cluster of local high technology companies. It has an enviable track record in the generation of patentable work, with a portfolio of over 350 patents. To ensure the impact of its research projects, University of Southampton’s Research & Innovation Services (R&IS) is responsible for professional protection of IP and supporting commercial development with industry. R&IS has had considerable success, licensing annual revenue in excess of €1million and launching twelve successful spin-out companies since 2000. University income from competitively won grants and contracts was over €170M in 2014/15 with €21M from the European Commission.

Southampton has a strong track record of working in European projects, especially within the Framework Programme. The EC 7th FP7 Monitoring Report ranked Southampton 15th out of all higher and secondary education organisations for number of FP7 participations during 2007-2013. During the FP7 Southampton  received €125M in research grants and was awarded 318 projects, including 63 ICT Collaborative Projects. In H2020 so far, UoS has been awarded 85 projects, 40 held in the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering.

The Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE) is one of the most successful faculty of this type in UK, Europe and the world. FPSE has over 1400 undergraduate and 825 postgraduate students. Research activity from FPSE has led to the formation of over 20 spin-out companies. FPSE includes word-leading research centres like the Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), first in the UK for the volume and quality of research in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (REF 2014).

FPSE has also strong background in working on international research projects, including 122 EU FP7 projects worth in excess of €65M.

Main tasks in PICTURE:

The University of Southampton main work within the project is on the modulator development within work package 2. Southampton will work on the design and fabrication of silicon capacitive modulators. Southampton will also perform high speed characterisation of all modulators developed within the project. Further to the technical activities, Southampton are also leading the dissemination task within the project which includes setting up a project website and planning dissemination activities such as seminars.

The silicon photonics group at the University of Southampton have a long track record in the area of optical modulators in silicon. The group have reported several world firsts including the design of the first 1GHz silicon optical modulator, the first waveguide based carrier depletion modulator (the technology widely used by the silicon photonics community worldwide), the first practical 40Gbit/s silicon optical modulator and first 50Gbit/s silicon optical modulator. The group have expertise in the simulation, fabrication and characterisation of such high speed devices. The group also has a strong expertise in leading dissemination activities, for example organising workshops and conferences, as well as publishing.

Prof. Graham Reed (male) is Professor of Silicon Photonics at the University of Southampton, UK. In April 2012, he joined Southampton from the University of Surrey, where he was Professor of Optoelectronics, and was Head of the Department of Electronic Engineering from 2006 to 2012. Reed is a pioneer in the field of Silicon Photonics, and acknowledged as the individual who initiated the research field in the UK. He established the Silicon Photonics Research Group at the University of Surrey in 1989. The first Silicon Photonics company in the world, Bookham Technology Inc., was founded by Reed’s PhD student, Dr Andrew Rickman, and adopted the research developed in the Group. Bookham (now renamed Oclaro Inc) is one of the leading optical sub-system companies in the world. Reed’s Silicon Photonics Group have provided a series of world leading results since its inception, and are particularly well known for their work on silicon optical modulators. Reed led the EPSRC programme UK Silicon Photonics (£5M) and the only UK partner contribution to the FP7 flagship Silicon Photonics programme “HELIOS” (€8.5M); projects that produced the world’s first 50Gb/s silicon modulator, as well as the modulator with the best performance at 40Gb/s. He currently leads the EPSRC Programme Grant “Silicon Photonics for Future Systems” (£6.0M), an EPSRC Platform Grant “Electronic-Photonic convergence” (£1.5M), and the EPSRC CORNERSTONE project (£3.2M). He is a co-investigator of the EPSRC National Hub in High Value Photonic Manufacturing (£10M).  He holds several industry projects from companies in the USA, China and Japan, and is internationally sought after as a technology consultant and conference speaker. He has published more than 350 papers in the field, and delivered 33 invited talks in the past 3 years alone, including two plenary and 3 keynote presentations. He is a member of the board and the Executive Committee of the European Optical Society, and a board member of the MIT Microphotonics Center. He is a visiting Professor at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and external examiner at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecomms in China. In 2013 he was awarded the IET Crompton Medal for Achievement in Energy, and in 2014 he was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award for work in the field of Silicon Photonics.

Dr David Thomson (male) (Principal Research Fellow, University of Southampton & Royal Society University Research Fellow) leads research on silicon photonics for computing applications. He is also currently the PI of two major industry projects, and manages a small team of PDRAs and students to implement the work. Notable achievements include the demonstration of the first 50Gbit/s optical modulator in silicon and the first frontend integration of silicon optical modulators with BiCMOS electronics. He has previously successfully managed work packages within both EU and UK funded projects where his technical work and leadership were singled out for praise on multiple occasions. He is the author of more than 150 publications; more than 50 invited, and has 9 patents in the area of silicon photonics.  David is a member of 4 international conference committees including IEEE Group IV photonics and SPIE Photonics West, and is a Royal Society Research Fellow.

Prof. Shinichi. Saito (male) received the Ph. D. degree in the department of physics and applied physics from Waseda University (Japan), in 2000. From 1998 to 2000, he was a Research Associate at Waseda University, where he studied theoretical condensed matter physics of high temperature superconductivity and strongly correlated electrons systems.

He joined Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi Ltd., in 2000, where he has been engaged in device physics and process technologies of silicon based nanoelectronic and nanophotonic devices. His works include high performance CMOS devices, carrier transport, high-k gate stacks, mobility enhancement, self-organized nanoparticles, flexible thin film transistors, and silicon photonics. He was a Senior Researcher of Hitachi Ltd. In 2003, he won the SSDM paper award for his analysis on the mobility reduction mechanism in high-k gate dielectric transistors. From 2010, he was also with Photonics Electronics Technology Research Association (PETRA) to develop Si based light sources supported by the JSPS FIRST program. In 2011, he won his 2nd SSDM paper award for the development of the Si fin-type light-emitting diode.

In 2012, he has moved to the University of Southampton as a Professor of Photonics, where he is working in the Nano group for nano-photonics, nano-electronics, and device physics. He published 32 journal papers, 66 international conference papers including 15 invited talks, 59 Japanese domestic conference talks including 27 invited talks, and filed 21 patents. His research results have been press released more than 10 times.

List of up to 5 relevant previous projects or activities, connected to the subject of this proposal

  • FP7  HELIOS (Euro 6,711,880)
  • EPSRC - UK Silicon Photonics (£2,900,098)
  • EPSRC - Electronic-Photonic Convergence (£1,492,310)
  • EPSRC - Silicon Photonics for Future Systems (£6,009,331)
  • EPSRC - Si Fin Optical Modulator for Low Power Interconnection (£508,740)

The University of Southampton has all the necessary infrastructure and arrangements in place to host the project. Financial and management support will be provided by Southampton’s EU Office in liaison with the person in charge of the research. FPSE is home to several advanced research facilities including the University’s 120 million pound Clean Room complex which houses the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre. The nanofabrication cleanrooms have all of the capabilities required to fabricate the silicon photonic elements


Project Support

III-V Labs
Campus de Polytechnique
1, avenue Augustin Fresnel
F-91767 Palaiseau Cedex
Phone : + 33 1 69 41 55 00
Arnaud Wilk

Quick Links

  • Picture-h2020 Project Intranet
  • Silicon Photonics Group website
  • Picture-h2020 Events